Star chef Evin Ramsvik shares his recipes at Dagsavisen every week.
There wasn’t so much that made me as happy in my childhood as the expectation of creamy potatoes. The smell of potatoes, cream, garlic, and cheese simmering in the oven usually indicated that it was the weekend and venison was on the menu.
Today I rarely eat beef, and I don’t make creamy potatoes at home. But then it struck me that this dish is so amazing that it deserves to be in the spotlight. That’s why I composed a dish where potatoes should not have their usual role as an accompaniment – or “garnish for satiation” as chefs often call them – but as the main ingredient in a meal. Cheese contributes proteins, so that the meal is complete.
Asterix and Vulva – but preferably British
The choice of potatoes is important when making this potato cake. Potatoes with the right dry matter and starch content should be used, and they are also good in taste.
Almond potatoes are not good and neither are new potatoes. Baked potatoes are very grateful to work with since they are quite large, but not much taste good. Among the varieties of potatoes in Norwegian stores, I prefer large potatoes Asterix or Vulva. But it gets better with Mary Piper potatoes, which you get a lot of in England. So if any of the Norwegian potato growers read this text: Please, start with Mary’s voice! There is no better type of fries for French fries, gratin, and other crunchy or baked potato dishes.
Fish, poultry, meat, or vegetarian
The dish of the week can be advantageously prepared in advance. Then a more taste develops, and the cake “settles” well, so that it is easier to slice.
If you want a larger and longer dinner plate, you can use potato cake as a starting point and serve something high in protein alongside it. There are no restrictions here – potatoes are suitable for almost anything from fish, poultry and meat. You can also expand the dish in a vegetarian direction by leaving some layers consisting of thin slices of root vegetables. Use, for example, celery root, turnip and carrots.
Potato cake with parmesan, pickled onions, parsley and radish
Ingredients (2 people)
- 400g potatoes, peeled (preferably volva or asterix)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 dl cream
- 1 dl full fat milk
- 1 tablespoon of dairy butter
- 40gm grated parmesan cheese
- 50g grated cheese (plain yellow or cheddar cheese)
- 2 leeks
- 6 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 0.5 dl water
- 4 tablespoons green herbal oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 piece fresh radish
- 1 bunch parsley leaves
- 1 new tarragon
- Salt and Pepper
- Use an appropriately sized cake pan, casserole dish, or baking tray. Note: If you follow the quantity statement for 2 people, a regular cake tin will be too large. The loaf tray can be made smaller with a section made of aluminum foil. Rub the mold with butter.
- If you have a mandolin, use it to cut the potatoes into slices about 5mm thick. Alternatively, you can use a sharp knife. Lay the boards in layers in the pattern of ceiling tiles, leaving them with a total height of 7-8 cm.
- Heat the cream and milk with finely chopped garlic. Melt the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Here you should be a little rich in salt, because potatoes contain a lot of liquid.
- Whisk the cream of milk over the potatoes, making sure to distribute it between the layers by shaking the pan a little. Cover with grated cheese, and bake the figure in an oven at 180 degrees until golden on top and soft in the middle. Let the mold cool for at least 3-4 hours after baking so it can “sit”.
- Clean and cut the leeks in half lengthwise. Pick the slices apart and place them in a small bowl. Boil sugar, raspberry vinegar and water, whisk the hot foil over the onions. Let the pickled onions stand for an hour before using it.
- Make a simple sauce by putting a few tablespoons of pickle in a small cup, and mix 50/50 with either green herbal oil or a fine olive oil.
- When serving, cut the potato cake into appropriate pieces, before baking the pieces in the oven on a tray until golden and warm throughout. Serve the potato bun with pickled onions, as well as parsley and tarragon leaves. Grate over the radish, and finish with a few drops of the sauce.
Fresh Riesling is the perfect companion to this week’s potato cake.
Written by Knut Espen Mesje, Sommelier, Course Leader and Co-author of several cookbooks / NTB
This week’s potato gratin can easily be combined with both wine, beer, and sides. A light red wine such as Dolcetto, Beaujolais or Pinot Noir is excellent, as is a well-made ale or a beer that is not too bitter. Good cider or sides also work great for the dish.
Finger Lakes white wine
However, I chose white wine, and there are also many suitable wines in this category. The important thing is that the wine has a fruity look that goes well with potatoes and radishes and that it has enough freshness to accentuate the flavors in the dish. The wines they can go with are cold chardonnay unqualified from Chablis, green velvet from Austria or classic Riesling with a hint of sweetness and high acidity. I often choose Riesling, which is a very fine dining wine, and this time it was a bottle of a somewhat unusual title.
Our bottle of choice is from the Finger Lakes wine region in New York State. The climate here is continental and cold. Because the vineyards benefit from the calming effect of deep lakes, it is possible that the grapes ripened here.
reminds us of Muselle
Riesling thrives in cooler climates and is probably the best grape in the region. Red Newt Cellars Dry Riesling 2020 (Item #13688301, base pick, NOK 228.80) is somewhat similar to Moselle’s Riesling. It’s dry, but it has a few grams of sweetness left that balances out the high acidity and is perfect for horseradish.
Potatoes have a slightly earthy taste, which gives the dish, along with Parmesan, a touch of umami. This character is reflected by the slightly spicy character that the wine gets from spontaneous fermentation. And when the fresh apple-like fruit and sharp acidity of the wine combine with pickled onions and parsley, it turns out well.
The wine is also very good on its own, and can certainly be compared to Riesling in the same price range from Germany and Austria.
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